AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4594
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Date(s): 1775 - 1989
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.4 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Birch | Lucas | d 1800 | confectioner and caterer


Administrative/Biographical history:

The business was originally established by Mr Horton in the reign of George I (1714-1727). He was succeeded by Lucas Birch (d.1800) was a pastry-cook, confectioner and caterer, of 15 Cornhill, City of London. He was later joined by his son Samuel Birch and the business was known as Birch and Son in 1786. Samuel Birch (1757-1840) (also known as 'Mr Pattypan') served as Lord Mayor 1814-1815. He also sat on the Court of Common Council of the Corporation of London and was Alderman of the Ward of Candlewick.

The firm was later known as Birch and Birch, and as Birch, Birch and Company. The business was responsible for catering at Lord Mayor's banquets and other ceremonial and civic events as well as services for livery companies, hospitals and other organisations in and around the City of London. Turtle soup was a particular speciality prepared and promoted by the company.

In circa 1836 the business was acquired by Ring and Brymer who later moved to 39A Old Broad Street. The company was later incorporated as Ring and Brymer (Birchs) Limited.

Ring and Brymer (Birchs) Limited had premises at 46 Sun Street in 1938, registered offices at 4 Angel Court in 1952-1955, and 17 Finsbury Avenue in 1964. The business was retained by Lord Forte when he acquired the company in 1962, and based at 30-32 Sun Street in 1974. Trusthouse Forte Group acquired Gardner Merchant and Gardner Merchant Leisure later sold City interests in the Ring and Brymer Division to events caterer Chester Boyd in 1999.


Scope and content/abstract:

Lucas Birch day book (1775-1778), Birch and Son and Birch and Birch cash books (1785-1788, 1803-1808, 1813-1818), Ring and Brymer cash books (1856-1876), annual returns (1952-1955), photographs (1954-1989) and also special and state occasion menus books which are catalogued in detail (1910-1983). .

Please note: special and state occasion menus books (1910-1964) remain uncatalogued please see staff for further information.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as follows:
LMA/4594/01; Shares
LMA/4594/02: Finance
LMA/4594/03: Operations.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 2018.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright and ownership rests with City of London except LMA/4594/02/01/001 which is held on deposit.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

LMA/4594/02/01/001 (MS 00458) was deposited at Guildhall Library in 1964 by the family. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009. The remainder of the records were gifted to London Metropolitan Archives in January 2012.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Cash book of Lucas and Samuel Birch, 1782-1785, held at the National Art Library at Victoria and Albert Museum reference MSL/1967/431. Note: 'Turtle remains from a late 18th century well at Leadenhall Buildings' by Philip Armitage and Colin McCarthy, London Archaeologist volume 4 number 1 pages 8-16 makes reference to use of this cash book which is not held at the Museum of London as stated in the article.

Also held at the Victoria and Albert Museum is the Birch and Birch shop front (ref: W.38-1926).

Publication note:

For a short company history: 'Catering during ten reigns' 1923 (38 pages) [Guildhall Library: Closed Access Pam 458 and 20438 and Barbican Library: L 23.1 BIR]

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
January to May 2011, with additions February and August 2012. Updated November 2018.

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"